In the News: Summer camp sues Pennsylvania, Idaho bills man for rescue, class action lawsuit alleges sunscreen claims bogus, New Jersey Attorney General sues 20 health clubs, and much more

More skiing-related deaths, man killed falling off snowcat, Summer camp sues Pennsylvania over whitewater access, Idaho bills man for rescue, class action lawsuit alleges sunscreen claims bogus, New Jersey Attorney General sues 20 health clubs, CPSC recalls for bicycle trainers and snowboard bindings, and much more
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The Aspen Daily News reporting that a 48-year-old Carbondale man died skiing at Snowmass Ski Resort. The accident occurred on Cascade, an intermediate run, late in the afternoon. Allegedly the man was a good skier who died after hitting a tree.

The International Herald Tribune is reporting that four Polish trekkers have been abducted in the Everest region. The abductees called on their phone Friday saying they had been abducted but have not been heard from since then. Maoist rebels have not taken responsibility for the abduction. Maoist rebels have repeatedly stated they do not want to harm tourism in the country. Maoists have taken money from tourists calling it a tax in the past. The trekkers were hiking through an area not normally taken by trekkers and in an area that has known rebel activity. The abductees had called from Jiri in Dolakha district, 130 km northeast of Katmandu. Some reports have labeled the abductors as communist rebels, however at this time it is unknown who the actual abductors are. The Nepal Tourism Board has not confirmed the abduction, only stating the friends of the trekkers have lost contact with them.

The Guardian Unlimited is reporting the four Polish kidnapped trekkers have been freed unharmed and are continuing along their way to Everest.

The New Jersey Attorney General has sued 20 health clubs for failing to notify customers of their rights under New Jersey laws. The health clubs, Dolphin Fitness, Olympus Gym, Gold's Gym, Valley Family Fitness and Executive Fitness names, are alleged to have violated numerous violations of New Jersey's Consumer Fraud Act, Health Club Services Regulations and Advertising Regulations. The specific violations in the complaint are:
• Failure to register some locations with Consumer Affairs and pay the $300 bi-annual registration fee;
• Failure to maintain bond, letter of credit or other security for each location;
• Failure to meet requirements for contracts, by failing to include statements about a consumer's right to cancellation of the contract or a refund under certain conditions;
• Charging a down payment exceeding 25 percnet of the contract price prior to the opening of the facility;
• Failure to provide refunds to consumers when facilities closed or failed to open;
• Misrepresenting that a facility is registered with Consumer Affairs; and
• Misrepresenting to consumers the number of facilities to which consumers would have access.

The Telluride Daily Planet is reporting on the death of a sixteen-year-old man who fell off a snowcat and was run over by the snowcat. The snowcat driver was charged with criminally negligent homicide. The snowcat driver was giving a group of friends a ride to the top of the terrain park after the ski resort had closed when Brooks "Hoot" Brown, a 16 year old riding on the back of the cat fell off. Five other individuals were riding with Brown. That area of the snowcat is not designed for passengers.

My News at 10 is reporting a 20-year-old man died skiing at Northstar-at-Tahoe in California. Benjamin Michael Sumner was found by friends after skiing into the trees. Sumner was from San Jose. Cause of his death was being investigated by the coroner.

The New York Post online is reporting a class action lawsuit has been filed in state court in California alleging sunscreen is the ”Snake Oil of the 21st Century.” The suit charges that “sun worshippers slathering on sunscreen lotion are using worthless products that won't protect them against skin cancer.” The suit is a consolidation of nine prior lawsuits against sunscreen manufactures. The defendants are Schering-Plough (Coppertone); Sun Pharmaceuticals and Playtex Products (Banana Boat); Tanning Research Laboratories (Hawaiian Tropic); Neutrogena Corp. and Johnson & Johnson (Neutrogena); and Chattem Inc. (Bullfrog).

The judge in the suit in a preliminary ruling in one of the consolidated cases ruled that “federal regulators, for unknown reasons, failed to exercise their statutory mandate to protect the public" from sunscreens for decades.” The lawsuit is based on an investigation by two U.S. Food and Drug Administration attorneys in the 1990s that found sunscreens to be lacking and involved misleading marketing. Another allegation in the suit is the manufacture's are making false claims such as sunscreen's block UV rays and they are waterproof. The suit claims sunscreens are not waterproof, that every sunscreen eventually dissolves in water. The manufactures named in the suit all claim they are complying with all federal regulations.

The Consumer Products Safety Commission has issued a recall for the 2006 Performance Travel Trac Trainers. “The base of the trainer has a blocking mechanism that can break causing the bicycle to disengage from the stand, posing a fall hazard.” There have been two reported failures and no injuries so far. The CenturyV trainers are gloss black with red and white decals running vertically along the rear face of the rear support legs. The left leg has an additional vertical red “Travel Trac CenturyV” decal. The Travel Trac Mag Force+ has gray front legs and red rear legs. The right rear leg has a large vertical decal on its rear face with “Mag Force” in large yellow letters and “Travel Trac” in small white letters. The recalled models' UPC and item numbers are printed on the packaging. The item number is also printed on the bottom of the last page of the owner's manual.

The Consumer Products Safety Commission has issued a recall for Quechua “Rn'x7FX” snowboard bindings. The snowboard binding's plastic base can break during use, posing a risk that snowboarders can fall and suffer a serious injury. For more information, return the bindings to your local Decathlon store or call Decathlon at (800) 721-7780.

Reuters is reporting that a Boise, Idaho man has been billed for his rescue from a mountain peak last year. Tim Dopp and his teenage son became stranded on peak in Idaho's Sawtooth range. The Custer County Sheriff sent Dopp a bill for the rescue totally $15,000.00. The rescue required five government agencies and over sixty people along with a high altitude helicopter.

Phillyburbs.com is reporting that a Christian Summer Camp called Summer's Best Two Weeks is suing the state of Pennsylvania over charges for whitewater rafting on the Youghiogheny River through Ohiopyle State Park. The issue revolves around legislation drafted in 2001 that now requires the camp to pay commercial outfitters to raft the river. In the past the camp rafted using their guides and had rafted for free. After the legislation was passed the camp quit rafting.

The camps and the state estimated the cost of hiring one of the four commercial outfitters would be in excess of $30,000 per year. The legislation targeted the camps. Private trips with inexperienced guides or no guides can still raft the river for free. The commercial outfitters pay the state 7.5% of their receipts for the right to raft the river. Currently four commercial companies are permitted to raft the river.

The state is arguing the commercial outfitters are safer. However the camp is arguing its safety record is superior to the commercial outfitters. Law Review records support this argument. The commercial outfitters run trips without guides in the boats and the camp has never had a fatality.

The suit is couched and is directed at litigation at the state. However the real problem is the outfitters mistakenly believed they would increase their income by requiring the camp to hire them and them only to raft the river. They had the ability to get the legislation passed and either the camps ignored the legislation or did not pay attention to it. In this case everyone loses. The outfitters did not receive any additional income because the camps quit rafting. The campers lose because they can no longer raft the river and the Pennsylvania and the camps lose because the litigation is going to be expensive.For Additional information on this story see the Post Gazzete.com.

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